Dominated in gamer lingo / TUE 1-7-20 / Public perception in political lingo / How LPs were originally recorded / Picture from Ansel Adams say

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:07 first thing in the morning, which is when I'm at my slowest—felt like one of the fastest Tuesday I'd done in ages, though in actuality still 20 seconds off my record)

THEME: OUTSIDE SHOTS (51A: What 20-, 28- and 42-Across are) — themers are different kinds of literal and metaphorical OUTSIDE SHOTS:

Theme answers:
  • THREE POINTER (20A: Long jumper, in hoops)
  • GHOST OF A CHANCE (28A: Very slight probability)
  • LANDSCAPE PHOTO (42A: Picture from Ansel Adams, say)
Word of the Day: Reggie Jackson (18A: Nickname for baseball's Reggie Jackson => MR. OCTOBER) —
Reginald Martinez Jackson (born May 18, 1946) is an American former professional baseballright fielder who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City / Oakland AthleticsBaltimore OriolesNew York Yankees, and California Angels. Jackson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. (wikipedia)
• • •

Dutchess, 2002-2019
HELLO, READERS AND FELLOW SOLVERS. It's early January and that means it's time for my annual pitch for financial contributions to the blog, during which I ask regular readers to consider what the blog is worth to them on an annual basis and give accordingly. It's kind of a melancholy January this year, what with the world in, let's say, turmoil. Also, on a personal note, 2019 was the year I lost Dutchess, who was officially The Best Dog, and who was with me well before I was "Rex Parker." Somehow the turning of the calendar to 2020 felt like ... I was leaving her behind. It's not a rational sentiment, but love's not rational, especially pet love. Speaking of love—I try hard to bring a passion and enthusiasm to our shared pastime every time I sit down to this here keyboard. I love what I do here, but it is a lot of work, put in at terrible hours—I'm either writing late at night, or very early in the morning, so that I can have the blog up and ready to go by the time your day starts (9am at the very latest, usually much earlier). I have no major expenses, just my time. Well, I do pay Annabel and Claire, respectively, to write for me once a month, but beyond that, it's just my time. This blog is a source of joy and genuine community to me (and I hope to you) but it is also work, and this is the time of year when I acknowledge that! All I want to do is write and make that writing available to everyone, for free, no restrictions. I have heard any number of suggestions over the years about how I might "monetize" (oof, that word) the blog, but honestly, the only one I want anything to do with is the one I already use—once a year, for one week, I just ask readers to contribute directly. And then I let 51 weeks go by before I bring up the subject again. No ads, no gimmicks. It's just me creating this thing and then people who enjoy the thing supporting the work that goes into creating the thing. It's simple. I like simple. Your support means a lot to me. Knowing that I have a loyal readership really is the gas in the tank, the thing that keeps me solving and writing and never missing a day for 13+ years. I will continue to post the solved grid every day, tell you my feelings about the puzzle every day, make you laugh or wince or furrow your brow or shout at your screen every day, bring you news from the Wider World of Crosswords (beyond the NYT) every day. The Word of the Day is: Quotidian. Occurring every day. Daily. Whether you choose to contribute or not, I'm all yours. Daily.

How much should you give? Whatever you think the blog is worth to you on a yearly basis. Whatever that amount is is fantastic. Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are two options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

Second, a mailing address (checks should be made out to "Rex Parker"):

Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. I. Love. Snail Mail. I love seeing your gorgeous handwriting and then sending you my awful handwriting. It's all so wonderful. This year's cards are illustrations from the covers of classic Puffin Books—Penguin's children's book imprint.  Watership Down, Charlotte's Web, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Wrinkle in Time, How to Play Cricket ... you know, the classics. There are a hundred different covers and they are truly gorgeous. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just say NO CARD.  As ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support.

Now on to the puzzle!
• • •

I'm still not awake, frankly, so the fact that I solved puzzle in 3:07 (maybe half a minute under my Tuesday average) tells me it's very easy indeed. The only thing keeping this from being a dead spring were my fat fingers (got INTENTIONAL off the "IN-" but then proceeded to type it in like nine kinds of ways before I got the letters all in order, ugh) and a couple of terrible (if plausible-ish) wrong guesses. I never saw a theme. I might've sensed a theme, a longshot-type theme, but I had to look the thing over at the end to figure it out. I don't think I ever even really saw the revealer clue. Weird. And here's the thing about this puzzle: I kind of enjoyed solving it, when I had no idea what the theme was. It's smooth enough, the sports stuff is definitely my thing, and even though I don't actually believe anyone has ever uttered the word STEPNIECE (you really got time to cut things that fine?) and SCOTIAN on its own looks ridiculous, the fill felt mostly smoothish. The theme ... it has its cuteness, especially in that last themer with Ansel Adams, but LONG SHOTS keeps shouting at me from the sidelines like, "Hey! Hey! ... Yo! I shoulda been the revealer! This is some b***s***, man!" OUTSIDE SHOTS is a solid enough phrase, but stupid LONG SHOTS is over there shouting, convincingly, "I'm solider and you know it!" You'd have to get yourself a different third themer. Anyway, aside from having booring LONGSHOTS kind of heckling this thing in my brain, I thought it was tolerable and pleasant enough.

This puzzle reminded me of my dad and stepmom (though not STEPNIECE), because they are friendly with family members of the late Ansel Adams (taker of LANDSCAPE PHOTOs), and when I visit them these days, at their home in Carmel, CA, they often take me to this little seafood place on a pier in Monterey that is frequented by MR. OCTOBER, Reggie Jackson. I walked in one day and my dad was like "that's Reggie Jackson" and I wheeled around and yep, there he was. I was expecting some giant in pinstripes but he looks remarkably like every other old dude in Monterey. Hanging out with friends, wearing his windbreaker or whatever, eating his seafood. Shorter than I'd imagined. Still vibrant and handsome. I tried, mostly successfully, not to stare. Soon an otter floated by on his back outside the window, and so I was sufficiently distracted. Ironically, though Reggie Jackson was one of the first baseball players I ever knew about (and despised—grew up a Dodgers fan in the '70s), I absolutely blanked on his nickname at first becauuuusssse at 10D: Cause chafing, perhaps (RUB), I had the RU- and must've misread the clue as [Chafing cause] because I wrote in RUG. . Yup. That's what I wrote. Annnnnnyway, that was weird. 

I wrote in PEEKS AT instead of PEEPS AT (14D: Gets a furtive glimpse of), which ... you'd say PEEKS, wouldn't you? I can defend PEEPS ("Your honor, this yellow marshmallow bird and his friends were only etc.") but I really think that 4 out of 5 humans PEEK not PEEP. So SOU me! (are we still doing SOU? OK). Mixed, sleepy emotions from me, clearly. I'm gonna wrap things up now. Take care.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Waltroze 6:05 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. I didn't relate the theme answers until the revealer, which I thought was clever.

Joaquin 6:35 AM  

I had to revise my usual solving routine as I had no clue about 1A (so started with 1D instead). But despite learning the new (to me) term BBOY, I doubt that I will ever use that term in real life. I can guarantee no one will ever refer to me using that term. Break bread? With pleasure! Break dance? No chance. Also, I don’t believe I have ever come across SOU used as suggested by the clue.

Astounded to find I have Ansel Adams in common with Rex (a family connection to the photographer). Small world!

Lewis 6:45 AM  

This puzzle had lots of shine, with a good number of answers that I not only like, but that rarely if ever show up in crosswords: BBOY, GHOST OF A CHANCE, BED HOG, OVERSHARING, TACTICS and its cousin OPTICS, and SCHISM. Such unexpected guests in a grid give it pop and interest. Add to that a reveal that packed a big aha for me, and what is often on Tuesday a rote skill-maintaining exercise was instead a beauteous gem.

On top of that, the grid contained BRATS and ALE, a word to rhyme with Saturday's TURNT, a new word for me to rhyme "ocean" with, and quite notably, the perfect adjoining of NORI and its reverse.

Junk lite and beauty rich, the perfect recipe for a splendid solve. Thank you for this, Ross!

Loren Muse Smith 6:58 AM  

Hah. At first I thought it was just that the last words of the themers were synonyms for SHOT. What a terrific aha moment to see that it’s a lot more than that – Ross gives us not only three ways to use SHOT, but three ways to use OUTSIDE. This is very cool. So Rex’s “long shots” for a reveal wouldn’t be as apt.

SCHISM should be used more. It could join forces with other words for some nifty portmanteaux. Critischism is the divide here between the grumps and and the Pollyannas. Narcischism – you’ve just gone too far, and your huge ego is starting to send people running. Soleschism – the divide between the unwashed singular they users and the erudite, learned, correct speakers.

TACTICS and OPTICS. I guess they’re treated as plurals? Don’t mimic a disabled reporter; the optics are beyond disgusting. But with other ICS words I pause. Politics are or is? Mathematics, linguistics, statistics, economics… then you can get caught up in the marvel of stuff like

Measles is making a comeback
The news is grim.
I was delivered not one summons, but two summonses.

Loved OVERSHARING. Doncha hate those people here? Run their traps about their jobs, family, struggles, pet peeves. . . (Sarchasm – the divide between my incredible wit and those who don’t get it.)

Hungry Mother 7:03 AM  

Seemed easy enough, but took me longer than usual. I don’t usually look for a theme, but I was trying to connect THREE and GHOST and was distracted a bit from just filling things in.

GILL I. 7:04 AM  

I have absolutely no idea what I just solved. MR OCTOBER could've been February for all I knew. I'm not up on my basketball terms.... ergo not a GHOST OF A CHANCE to even know what Ross is talking about . I do know a rim shot...haha.
Well, @Rex, I had PEEk as well and left the kIN being felled in a strike. (Not into bowling, either). Then I get to BED HOG and my mind wanders. We have exactly two - and they are of the fur ball variety. Moe lies on my pillow and twitches all night and Curly sleeps at our feet and snores. My husband goes to sleep; lies on his back, and doesn't move all night. The four legged children toss and turn and HOG all night long. That's why I get up at 2 AM and come to this blog.
I don't mind OVER SHARING my bathroom routine. I get up, I brush my teeth, I rinse, I brush my hair and I put my eyebrows on. Is that OVER SHARING?
Was I the only one that wanted Ansel to be an environmentalist or even a conservationist ? Maybe slip a Yosemite in there? I have one of his prints. I should take it to "Antique Road Show" and see if it's an original.
While I was in the dark with your puzzle, Ross, I actually had fun figuring out what you were doing. I loved ACHOO even though I'm of the sneeze variety.
@Tita from last night.....Don't be a stranger...and yes, Colombia is beautiful and the people and the food are wonderful.

Zonker 7:12 AM  

Hell just froze over.

amyyanni 7:15 AM  

Excellent Tuesday. Haven't worked on a Tuesday since December 17, so very appreciative. May appropriate "sarchasm," @LMS. Quietly chuckling, great thing for 7 am, gracious.

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Was utterly convinced the revealer would be distant SHOTS, so that set me back a bit.


OVERSHARING and INTENTIONAL are both really good, and each crosses three themers, which is mighty cool.

B Right There 7:23 AM  

This one just didn't resonate with me. I perked up when I saw Mr. Trudeau's name, as I usually enjoy his puzzles, but right from the getgo at 1, BBOY was a mystery to me so had a rough start right there. Was clueless on the first themer (THREEPOINTER). I know there's a line on a basketball court from which shots that make it count 3 points, and in my mind's eye I see someone standing behind it and launching a ball, while very carefully not moving his body/feet beyond that line, but as clued (Long jumper, in hoops), I ended up envisioning some cager (term I learned from crosswords) flying through the air some 20 feet ala olympics longjump style towards the net. Was also not thrilled that one of the themers was a prepositional phrase (28A GHOST OF A CHANCE) when the others weren't, and, though I own several Ansel Adams prints, I could not get over my initial desire to try and squeeze Black/White Photos in there, which is, to me, as symbolic of his excellent photography as is the fact that he did nature shots. Agree on STEP-NIECE being awkward. I have one, a lovely young lady, and she is simply my niece. Period. Thought that 5D INMONO and 7D IRONBARS also felt awkward or a little green paintish in the case of the bars. I think prison bars would have sounded more appropriate. Also never heard of 45 D OPTICS as clued; only as the study if vision/light, so had to build that from the crosses. And somehow I got a negative vibe from this puzzle with its (rude) TRAP, AXing, NYET, BURNT SLACK... so I call SOS on this one. Rescue me to a hopefully better Wednesday puzz tomorrow.

pabloinnh 7:23 AM  

Trying to figure out the theme before you get to the revealer and including MROCTOBER is, I discover, a singularly fruitless pursuit. So a nice surprise at the end.

Just saw "Sound of Music" on stage, know Bela Fleck, know basketball, know baseball, and happy to find out that BBOY was not making fun of a speech impediment,

Enjoyed this one a lot, it felt just right for a Tuesday. Merci bien encore une fois, M. Turdeau.

B Right There 7:28 AM  

Oh, and one more nip at the negativity in the puzzle, let's not forget the BRATS to start us off. At least we had the lovely ELSA to end this one.

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

It seems to me that for “Three Pointer” and “Landscape Photo” the clue and revealer have different meanings but for “Ghost of a Chance” they are the same. Or am I missing something?

Z 8:03 AM  

Did this a full minute faster than the USA Today puzzle. I’d like to say it was because the USA Today is upping its challenge, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I often don’t hit the first letter hard enough then have to delete and re-enter the whole thing. I did today in exactly the same time as yesterday’s, so I’m still think yesterday’s was more a Tuesday puzzle.

Baseball, basketball, bowling, BED HOGs. Way too many B-sports in the top third. I enjoy sports, but still want a little more balance ñ my puzzles.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but SCHISM always reminds me of home. What do you get when you have two Dutchmen together? A church. What do you get when you have three Dutchmen together? A SCHISM. This joke is funnier if you ever sat through CRC or RCA catechism.

@LMS - you missed Catachreschism - People who use “whom” when “who” is correct as opposed to those who never use “whom” as opposed to those who use “whom” correctly, snobby appearances be damned.*

*Yes, I looked it up, as if “ Catachresis” is something I’d remember.

GHarris 8:05 AM  

Yeh, I too peeked before I peeped. I’m with Rex on that one. Only erasure and a fun jaunt.

Z 8:11 AM  

@anon 7:51 - THREE POINTER, OUTSIDE as in beyond a boundary, SHOT as an an attempt. GHOST OF A CHANCE, as in remote and as in possibility. LANDSCAPE PHOTO as in outdoors and as in picture. So in each both OUTSIDE and SHOT are used differently but one could use OUTSIDE SHOT instead of the theme answer.

Groucho 8:27 AM  

The 3 point shot ruined basketball.

Sir Hillary 8:44 AM  

So I guess today I'm the opposite of @B Right There -- I usually dislike Ross Trudeau's offerings, but I loved this one. I haven't been as pleased and surprised by a revealer in a looooooong time. Thus, I can easily look past what otherwise might rankle (BEDHOG? Just stop.)

Like @Rex, I grew up in California, and MROCTOBER was a devastating nemesis. I found him personally appealing though. A massive talent with an ego to match, he seemed larger than life. A few years ago, when my dad was sitting in a luxury box (someone else's) at Angel Stadium, a film crew came in with Reggie Jackson and Frank Robinson and did some interviews with them. In between takes, my dad talked to Reggie and told me he could not have been nicer -- wanted to shake everyone's hand, asked their names, etc. Robinson, on the other hand, was a sullen grouch who could not get out of there fast enough. Incredible players both.

Great video from @Rex. RIP, Ranking Roger.

Off to the IRONBARS for a few ALES and a BURNT MELT...

Suzie Q 8:47 AM  

It was fun at the revealer, esp. liked the third theme answer.

I don't understand the clue for yule.

Shouldn't it be BPerson?

SouthsideJohnny 8:54 AM  

Monday-easy (maybe because I got the sports references?) - in fact it seems like Mon-Tue got switched up this week. No clue what a BBOY is or does. Surprised that Rex didn’t at least give a token mini-rant to the cluing for NYET (I guess Putin is a welcome presence, yet any member of the current Cabinet or First Family (the Melania/Ivanka type, not the Adam/Eve version) is persona non grata).

I definitely enjoyed LMS’s observations this morning - however, be careful suggesting that the NYT make up words - I’m not sure we should be encouraging more of that type of malfeasance, lol.

Rows 5 and 11 consist entirely of three-letter answers, which also contributed to the “fill in the blank” type of approach today. I don’t know if that is a rarely used construction approach or if I just haven’t noticed it in the past.

I’m finally getting used to seeing the frequently appearing ELSA - hopefully they won’t change the way that they are cluing her.

George Dies (HP Labs) 9:01 AM  

Seafood restaurant on pier in Monterey? Sounds like our go to place, Cafe Fina.....which is co-owned by John Madden (whom I saw there once)

Z 9:05 AM  

@Suzie Q - YULE clue explained.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

Long shot doesn't fit "Landscape Photo."

George Mamunes 9:09 AM  

What's with two UP responses? REVUP and FEDUP both appear. I thought they never used the same short adverb twice in the same puzzle?

Pablo 9:12 AM  

Liked it, and I think OUTSIDESHOTS works a little better than LONGSHOTS would have. What would be the third use of "long"? There's a literal long shot, a slim chance, and then what? A photo shoot with Nia Long? A particularly lengthy round of shots? Could you shoot Long John Silver? Seems a little violent for a puzzle.

Aside from the photoshoot, I don't think any of those actually work, but Shortz would probably have it clue Shelley Long instead and I'd be lost filling that in.

This was very quick for me, but not quite Monday quick simply due to TIP -> TAX and PEEKSAT -> PEEPSAT. Still, quick and smooth and my only hiccups were totally avoidable.

LilJo 9:17 AM  

Yes!!! peeKs not peePs. Argh. Stumped me.

Suzie Q 9:21 AM  

@ Z, Wow, I have never seen or heard of that. Well, that's an easy way to set the mood without worrying about setting the house on fire.

RooMonster 9:49 AM  

Hey All !
I had the PIN first, so avoided the PEEk/PEEP conundrum. YAY ME!

Fun little puz, found it easy as most of y'all. Was scratching the head trying to think of what the themers had it common. Fun "Ah, I SEE"(ICEE?) moment at the Revealer.

@Southside Johnny 8:54
The four threes row has been in puzs many times. That's where Rex's God of Bad Fill, OOXTEPLERNON came from. Rex is s great word-coiner.

Put lpS in for CDS, even though every fiber in my being was screaming "Put in CDS!" Other writeover was oRS for ERS.

MR OCTOBER was easy here, at the time Reggie was playing, I was a baseball fan. But now, I just follow football. No Patriots!! WooHoo! (Sorry @pabloinnh, had to!)

BBOY - Ugh.


Nancy 9:53 AM  

It's always nice when one phrase produces three entirely different "takes" on it. But, like others, I didn't notice the theme during the solve and certainly didn't need it. The fill was lively and completely junk-free -- with OVERSHARING and GHOST OF A CHANCE being my favorites.

I lost my interest in baseball when my beloved N. Y. Giants were carted away and I've never been a Yankees fan. (My father used to say that rooting for the Yankees was like rooting for General Motors). Even so, I certainly remember MR OCTOBER. If you lived in NYC, he was splashed all over the sports pages. Sometimes even the front page.

Looks like a good blog today, but I must read y'all later.

Unknown 9:56 AM  

Got tripped up a little in the center because audiophiles prize LPs and scorn digital.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

One more thing. My 2008 computer is acting up again and is telling me: Please, let me go on to that Great Big Gadget Playground in the Sky. A computer salesman told me that if I had my email account passwords (I have two email accounts, one which I seldom use), I'd be able to be recognized there on a new computer. But how will I 1) be recognized on Rex and 2) able to keep my Google Profile and avatar intact? I really worry about this.

xyz 10:10 AM  

Lotsa lotsa sub-par fill in this one, thought it was meh, but not UGH. Hardly worth the short walk for a 2" hop.

What? 10:23 AM  

It’s “outside shot”

What? 10:30 AM  

2008? You’re lucky you haven’t been hacked. Computers that old are not updatable with security fixes.
Refer questions about transfers to computer experts. Try Googling.

puzzlehoarder 10:38 AM  

It's not like me to enjoy a puzzle that takes less than Monday time. It's even less likely that I'm charmed by its theme. Today was that exception.

The solve was effortless and smooth but never boring. The Reggie Jackson nickname had to be worked around and recognized. Like @lms I first saw how SHOT described the second half of the themes and then got the even bigger aha when I realized that OUTSIDE worked the same way for the first halves.

I went to xwordinfo expecting to see a "pow" and pleased to have it show up. The puzzle was simply elegant and brightened up the usually bleak early week.

Nancy 10:46 AM  

@What -- I probably have been hacked. Maybe many times. But I'm someone who doesn't really care. Never once have I ever put anything connected to finances, birthdays, SSNs, crimes and misdemeanors (haha, just kidding), illicit trysts (haha again) or anything remotely compromising anywhere online at any time. I have always had a profound visceral distrust of the Internet long, long, long before all the bad stuff began to be revealed. If someone hacks me, they will find out much, much, MUCH more than they want to know about crossword puzzles, musical theater and tennis. After which they will say: "What a colossal waste of time. What a boring collection of useless, unprofitable garbage! Never again!"

Northwest Runner 10:51 AM  

When I got married my wife already had children. I guess that means her daughter became my sister's stepniece, but I don't think we've ever used that term nor can I think of another sequence of births and marriages that would lead to that expression.

Amelia 10:51 AM  

I don't usually comment on a Tuesday. Heck, I rarely DO Tuesday puzzles, but I did this one, and I wanted to say that it was a pleasure. Just because a puzzle is a breeze doesn't mean it has to have all that gunk we hate. No gunk. Refreshing answers. Quickly done, with pleasure. Thanks, Ross.

David 10:52 AM  

Audiophile here. Shelves full of LPs, just as all my audiophile friends. We don't scorn digital, many LPs were/are cut from digital tape. With CDs, we recognized the inferior quality of the early, Red Book CDs, recorded with their brick wall filters. In the decade after their introduction, the technology improved quite a bit. But yeah, we do scorn MP3s, give me a 24/96 WAV file and I'll be happy.

Oh, the puzzle. I flew through it and, as others, didn't much care about the theme. There's so much good stuff in it, most of it pointed out already. I also felt like Mon/Tue got reversed this week.

The "step" kids I know refer to their mother's second husband as their father, without the "step," and he never referred to them as "stepchildren." That seems most appropriate to me. Am I supposed to call my nephew's wife my "niece in law?" I just think of her as my niece.

@LMS, good ideas...

Sir Hillary 10:58 AM  

@Nancy -- I'm impressed by your computer's longevity; you must care for it well. These days, an 11-year-old computer feels like a 20-year-old dog. Rare indeed.

Whatsername 11:13 AM  

@Loren’s incredible wit is glowing today. Sarchasm = brilliant! I’m not a big baseball fan but who could forget MROCTOBER. It’s good to know he’s healthy and living the good life in California. Nice Tuesday puzzle and I agree in the easy side. I liked the B-ball theme. Would love to see a football grid too here in the midst of playoff season.

@GILL: Putting on your eyebrows – I can relate. Your new avatar is . . . interesting.

@Nancy: it’s true a new computer won’t necessitate changing any passwords and emails will remain intact. I also have an old 2008 with an antiquated operating system that I have been clinging to for years. I just recently had to replace my printer, and it was a challenge to find one which was compatible with the old clunker. But I did finally get a nifty inexpensive little Canon. It’s not so much that I don’t want to spend the money, but mostly I have put off replacing the old one because I dread the trauma of starting over with a new system. Same thing happened when I went shopping for a TV. Everything‘s gone wireless now, and the prospect of having to hook up everything and make it work is quite daunting to me. Apologies if that was OVERSHARING.

jae 11:30 AM  

Easy, should have been yesterday’s puzzle. Fine fill, solid fun theme, liked it a bunch. Me too for PEEk.

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

@Groucho is soooooo correct. I recall one of the Celtics alumni (might have been Russ, but not sure), retired and doing the commentator gig, allowed as how 3 points should go to under-the-basket, in-the-post, but not-layups because it's lots more effort to get the shot.

If your old enough to remember "The Boys of September" (well, it's actually Summer, but who's counting), then getting that month out of your head is a bit daunting.

Z 11:37 AM  

@Nancy - Unlike you and me, your 2008 computer can connect to your 2020 computer and everything old 2008 remembers will be transferred to your beautiful new 2020. The nice IT person at the store you purchase your new computer will be able to help you complete this task. Also ask about a “back-up drive and software that runs automatically.” Computers sometimes experience untimely deaths, so it is good to have a copy of all your xword musical theater tennis info. Also, make sure you let the person helping you know that you want the new computer to look as close as possible as your current one. They will want to spend time showing you how to all the new bells and whistles, so you may need to be insistent about not caring about bells and whistles.

GILL I. 11:40 AM  

@Nancy...My dear digital illiterati friend. Go (or call) Best Buy in NOHO on Broadway. Talk to a cute 20 year old and tell them what you need. Since you only want the computer for the blog and your music, I'd look into a Dell laptop. I've had one and for the price, they're pretty good. They will come to your place of abode and set it up for you. All you need is your password code for your accounts. They will automatically appear in your new computer.....If you want to be a little bit safer, get Norton. So far, no Nigerian prince has broken into my MacBook Air. You might look into a printer as well (so that people can send you other puzzles). I have an HP that I picked up for $50.00. Your Best Buy cutie can set that up for you as well. ;-)

pabloinnh 11:43 AM  

@rRoo-re Pats--not a problem. I feel the same way about the Yankees. I was surprised to see NE get as far as they did, and didn't really think of that last loss as an upset. Actually looking forward to seeing some new teams, someone else's turn and all that.

Masked and Anonymous 11:57 AM  

OK, but not entirely comfortable-familiar with the OUTSIDESHOTS revealer. Sorta along the lines of what @RP said. When I Google OUTSIDESHOT, I mainly get ads for a book by Fred Bowen. But others here seem sorta comfortable with the sound of it, sooo … ok.

This puppy dives down to the 74-word mark, so it has some bonus longball fillins, many of which are quite likable. faves included: MROCTOBER. BEDHOG. OVERSHARING. SCHISMS. BURNT. Best desperation included ALG and SCOTIAN, with ALG gettin the highly-coveted staff weeject pick.

Primo weeject stacks, in the NE & SW, thanx U.

This seemed like a mostly friendly TuesPuz solvequest. Only precious nanoseconds that got overstaring-BURNT was at that there near-impeachable BBOY/YULE intersection in the NW. Had to go and leave that square of mystery alone and blank, until near the very end. I reckon some folks must have a DVD video of a YULElog burnin, that they "fire-up" on their TV, around the holidays, maybe? M&A always goes with "Natl. Lampoon Christmas Vacation".

Thanx for all the shots, Mr. Trudeau. Theme had everything but a flask swig out in the back alley.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Nancy Noel 12:33 PM  

Wow! Even I got the theme and I NEVER get themes or even see a theme!
I also come from a family of the South so we parse our relations verrry carefully. So I loved this puzzle!


Whatsername 12:56 PM  

@Nancy: What @GILL said! In fact, I thought about recommending Best But in my original post but felt I had already rambled sufficiently otherwise. And yes, their IT people (aka The Geek Squad) are fantastic and they will set it up ready to use - for a price but the peace of mind is worth it. Only thing I would add is that for anti-virus protection, I like Webroot vs. Norton. But again, let the cute young millennials figure that out for you.

kitshef 12:58 PM  

@Nancy - What Gill I said, or consider a Chromebook which is cheaper and probably meets all your needs. But yes, let the nice store folks know your concerns and they will make it work.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

im really getting turned off to Rex, because of his wanton greed manifested by the by the daily pleas for ca$h.

Teedmn 1:07 PM  

I'm so glad Jeff Chen gave this puzzle of the week and that Rex didn't hate it. I was not experiencing even a GHOST of Rex's "long shots" inkling while solving so when I got down to OUTSIDE SHOTS and went looking for the theme tie-in, I was expecting to see the word SHOTS bracketing the OUTSIDEs of the theme answers. Instead, I got to admire how the three theme answers fit the revealer in their different ways. Nice job, Ross Trudeau.

I can certainly imagine where STEP NIECE would come up in conversation. Someone who thought they knew the boundaries of your family hears you refer to your niece, Nicole, and says, "Wait, who's Nicole?", not knowing your sibling got married to a lovely spouse with a grown daughter, Nicole. Voila!

With __RNT in at 35A, I said to myself, "Please don't be "tURNT". Whew.

old timer 1:09 PM  

Sarchasm! Made my day, @LMS! But you so often do.

Puzzle was super-easy. No writeovers, because as a pen and ink solver, I resist filling in even the most obvious long answers until confirmed in my mind by crosses.

The whole STEP thing is confusing. I could never have called my stepfather my father. I had a father who died when I was a baby, and grew up constantly reminded of what a great man he was. But my stepfather was a good man and a great role model. I miss him to this day. I do think if his daughter had had a daughter, she would be my STEPNIECE, not my niece. But have a ton of NIECEs, since my wife has five siblings. She is their aunt, I am their uncle. Not "uncle by marriage" or whatever. Yet in law, if my wife died without issue, her NIECEs and nephews would share in her estate. If I did, they would get nothing, and my cousins' children would inherit. (Fortunately, that questing is moot, since I have living children and GRANDKIDS).

Too much OVERSHARING, I know. Sorry, @LMS!

tea73 1:29 PM  

Enjoyed all the fresh fill and not an OREO or ALOE to be seen!

A little too much sports for me, though I have heard MR. OCTOBER before in some dim recess of my brain. I have bowled so that was not an issue. But I loathe basketball.

Master Melvin 2:00 PM  

I doubt the Coast Guard receives many distress calls in Morse Code (SOS) any longer. These days the distress call to the CG would be "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY".

Monty Boy 4:13 PM  

I liked this one a lot. On the easy side for me (4 Rexes). I made/corrected most of the mistakes mentioned so far.

I have about 20 Ansel Adams calendars and re-use them to enjoy the photos over and over again. It's a bit of a challenge going through them to find one that starts with 1/1 on a Wednesday but worth it. Leap year presents a challenge also. I also have a framed print in my office.

In the "Once in a while I do the right thing" file and Yankee observations: My dad was a big Yankee fan. I took him to a Pitt football game in the 70's and we saw Joe Dimaggio doing a Mr. Coffee standup nearby. I said we should go over when he's done and get an autograph but dad didn't want to bother him. I insisted and away we went. Joltin' Joe gave us an autograph and was the kindest, most gracious man you could imagine. Fond memory.

For improving men's basketball, I'd say raise the hoop a foot or two to eliminate the dunk and thus make the players, dribble, screen and run plays. I prefer women's basketball for that reason.

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

I prefer women's vollyball for another reason.

Northwest Runner 6:45 PM  

I guess as a point of clarification based on another comment, I'll take back a little of what I said earlier. The siblings of step parents have step nieces and nephews, but so do the step siblings of parents. In the first case the relationship is established at the time of a marriage, and in the second case only once those who were there for the marriage have children of their own.

Unknown 10:13 AM  

Loved this puzzle and the theme was clever. The Ansel Adams clue was easy for me as I once engaged in large format blanc and white photography. Even owned a couple of original Adams photos.

spacecraft 11:24 AM  

I guess this one suffers a bit from following two eagles, but I wasn't so crazy about this one. It appears the fill was made COARSELY, what with SCOTIAN and PEEPSAT and NORA/NORI--IAM not a fan of near-identical crosses.

But chief among these is 1-across. No one but a BBOY himself, or his immediate audience, is going to get that. And some of the clues were confusing: why time for a TV log? What does TV have to do with it? Square 4 was a rough one to fill because of that stupid "TV" in the clue.

There's other stuff too, but I won't bother. Theme was OK ("Just OK is not OK!"). Why would a "lenient boss" call you SLACK? See what I mean? Par, and struggled to make that.

A posthumous DOD to NORA Ephron.

Diana, LIW 12:44 PM  

so far this week seems a tad tougher than some, eh?

But a bit of time away from the puzzle, as usual, helped me finish it neatly.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords
Anyone going to ACPT?

leftcoaster 1:17 PM  

Nice, all-around Tuesday. Spare theme, apt revealer, couple of good long downs in the NW and SE, little or no nonsense.

Helpful crosses for BBOY, BELA, and ELSA.

STEPNIECES are just called NIECES in our family.

SCHISMS is a good, flexible word that can be pronounced si-zems, ski-zems, or shi-zems according to my trusty M-W.

Thanks, Mr. Trudeau.

leftcoaster 1:24 PM  

@spacecraft -- A lenient boss would cut you some slack, not call you slack (a misread clue).

JimmyBgood 1:45 PM  

During the yuletide season, there is a cable channel you can turn to, that shows a log burning in a fireplace, 24/7.Just in case you want to watch a log burning in a fireplace.

Burma Shave 3:12 PM  


ELSA’s TACTICS were conventional,
that’s what SPA OVERSHARING is for,
when she PEEPSAT you it’s INTENTIONAL,
for a CHANCE that she’ll RUB what’s THOR.


Diana, LIW 6:10 PM  

@BS - that thor wath thilly.

Lady Di

Diana, LIW 9:30 PM  

@Bee Eth
that ith thor thillie

Lady Di
Thorry if my earlier potht geths pothted late ;-)

Diana, LIW 10:33 PM  



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